Stefan Cooke SS23 shone bright like a diamond. Literally. Rounding off day 3 of London Fashion Week, Cooke’s previous collections have been imbued with chainmail and cut-outs that discover the true art of negative space – and this year was no different, as the brand carried on previous iterations of the diamond cut-outs. This time though, in new innovative placements.
Unlike previous collections, the diamond cut-out seemed to take a backseat. SS23 saw tactically concealed diamond cut-outs that might not be observed at first glance. In the footwear department, bowler shoes and loafers were adorned with the signature diamond cut-outs, often creating two-tone shoes and interesting patterns that elevated the kicks beyond the traditional – but as with all footwear on the runway, these moments had to be focused on.
The cut-out was also seen in the crooks of models’ arms – with the strategically unbuttoned knitwear creating cohesion and hammering in Stefan’s diamond effect. In case you missed it, the accessory game was strong this season at Stefan Cooke. As well as the shoes, Cooke’s diamond offering came in the form of a crossbody bag, which we’re sure will be at the top of everyone’s list when they hit sales later this year. They were leather, crossbody, and the perfect size for carrying the essentials (i.e phone, keys, wallet and nothing else).
Despite the diamonds in the accessories and weaved subtly throughout cream trousers, this was a departure from previous seasons in that it was not the core focus of the collection. The Cooke diamond was muted, embossed or placed on footwear rather than bold, contrasting or a natural pull as we’ve seen previously. This did, however, leave room for new techniques, motifs and experimentation in Cooke’s SS23 – one of which was denim.
From the frayed, bleached and effortless aesthetic, to the iconic styling (canadian tuxedo who?), it has to be said that Cooke’s denim game was strong this season. We saw jackets and jeans with matching distressed detailing, as well as strong seam lines forming a main feature of skirts – worn by everyone. Multiple panels of denim were sewn together, demonstrating the brand’s keen grasp of tailoring and contrasting it with the otherwise rough nature of their denim. These looks were seen in blue, pink and black, giving a bleached effect and the full acid wash denim look which was a standout.
Another key motif was the bows – slapped on knit tops and printed on jackets and scarves. Referencing tying and untying, it complemented the ruffle skirts and softer gauzes of Cooke’s collections, bringing a new focus to the forefront. This show and collection created a continuation of thought and design process for Stefan Cooke; reiterating its brand identity and the craftsmanship of their iconic shapes, whilst looking to a different imagined future. We wouldn’t be mad at a few more diamonds, though.
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